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School of Education

Online M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth

Program coordinator: Kristen Ritchey

For teachers and education professionals committed to serving children, youth, and adults with disabilities
  • Earn a graduate degree in this high-demand teaching specialty
  • Complete in two years through part-time coursework
  • Program offered 100% online, courses available year-round
  • Delaware teachers can pursue a five-course path to certification

Overview

The University of Delaware’s online M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth (Special Education) is designed to develop professional educators committed to careers that involve children, youth, and adults with disabilities. This program is appropriate for teachers with a teaching certificate in either general or special education who wish to develop advanced knowledge and skills. The program may also be appropriate for individuals who are not teachers but have other experience in the disability field and wish to pursue an advanced degree only.

For Delaware teachers, this program may be a path to a second certificate in special education as a Delaware Teacher of Exceptional Children Grades K-12 or a Delaware Teacher of Students with Autism or Students with Severe Intellectual Disabilities. For teachers outside of Delaware, we encourage you to contact your state certification office to determine whether this program may lead to special education certification.

There are two concentrations in the online M.Ed.:

  • K-12 Special Education
  • Autism/Severe Disabilities

Program faculty

The M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth program is taught by full-time faculty and other professionals in the School of Education. They are renowned in their field for both teaching and research.

Program structure

This degree program is designed for practicing teachers and educators.

  • Fully online with course offerings year round
  • Part-time
  • 33 credits (11 classes) which can be completed over 2 years
  • 7-week courses for fall and spring semesters; 5-week courses for winter and summer semesters

Program requirements

Required Courses

The M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth requires 33 credits of graduate-level coursework. Students are invited to view the 2017-2019 tentative schedule of courses.

K-12 Special Education Concentration

  • EDUC 623: Applied Human Development in the Schools
  • EDUC 652: Introduction to Assistive Technology
  • EDUC 673: School-to-Adult Life Transitions and Disability
  • EDUC 674: Special Education Instruction and Curriculum: Secondary*
  • EDUC 679: Special Education Instruction and Curriculum: Advanced
  • EDUC 680: Educational Evaluation: Exceptional Children and Youth
  • EDUC 681: Techniques for Behavior Change and Positive Behavior Support
  • EDUC 682: Special Issues in Special Education
  • EDUC 697: Education of Exceptional Children
  • EDUC 745: Collaborative Teaming in Special Education
  • EDUC 754: Special Education Instruction and Curriculum: Elementary*
  • EDUC 757: Diagnosis and Instruction in Literacy: Grades 4-12

*students select one course

Autism/Severe Disabilities Concentration (without Delaware certification)

  • EDUC 623: Applied Human Development in the Schools
  • EDUC 624: Introduction to Autism and Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 625: Special Education Instruction and Curriculum: Autism/Severe
  • EDUC 626: Functional Communication for Individuals with Autism and Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 652: Introduction to Assistive Technology
  • EDUC 673: School-to-Adult Life Transitions and Disability
  • EDUC 680: Educational Evaluation: Exceptional Children and Youth
  • EDUC 681: Techniques for Behavior Change and Positive Behavior Support
  • EDUC 682: Special Issues in Special Education
  • EDUC 697: Education of Exceptional Children
  • EDUC 745: Collaborative Teaming in Special Education

Autism/Severe Disabilities (with Delaware certification)

  • EDUC 623: Applied Human Development in the Schools
  • EDUC 624: Introduction to Autism and Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 625: Special Education Instruction and Curriculum: Autism/Severe
  • EDUC 626: Functional Communication for Individuals with Autism and Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 652: Introduction to Assistive Technology
  • EDUC 673: School-to-Adult Life Transitions and Disability
  • EDUC 680: Educational Evaluation: Exceptional Children and Youth
  • EDUC 681: Techniques for Behavior Change and Positive Behavior Support
  • EDUC 682: Special Issues in Special Education
  • EDUC 729: Behaviorally Based Teaching Practicum
  • EDUC 745: Collaborative Teaming in Special Education

Two courses of studies for Delaware teachers seeking K-12 Special Education or Autism/Severe Disabilities certification are also available online.

Required Technology

Technology plays a vital role in the Online M.Ed. in Exceptional Children in Youth program. Candidates will use technology to communicate with instructors, collaborate with peers, document school-based instruction, and submit assignments. Students are responsible for ensuring access to the following:

  • DSL or Broadband Internet connection
  • Mac or Windows personal computer with up-to-date antivirus software, internal or external microphone, and ability to access sound (i.e., sound card, speakers, etc.)
  • Devices that allow video such as a Digital Video Camera or WebCam
  • Software including Microsoft Office, Abode Reader, Flash Players, and other tools as designated by specific course instructors
  • Scanner
  • UD email
  • Canvas

Tuition and financial aid

Please see this page for information on graduate tuition rate and financial aid for this program.

Admission requirements

All applicants must complete the steps of the UD online graduate application process.

Please see below for specifics about the application requirements for the M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth program. Admission decisions are made by the full-time faculty in Special Education. Students will be admitted to the program based upon enrollment availability and evidence that they meet or exceed the following minimum recommended entrance requirements.

Applications are evaluated on a combination of academic achievement, recommendations, and professional objectives as evidenced by the following factors. Those who meet stated minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths.

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • An undergraduate cumulative grade index of 3.0 or higher.
  • A graduate cumulative grade index of at least 3.5 if graduate courses were taken.
  • Transcripts of all previous academic work at the undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) level. Applicants may upload unofficial copies of their transcripts and if admitted, all transcripts will be verified by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education. Applicants who previously attended the University of Delaware still need to upload an unofficial transcript, but do not need to provide official transcripts for verification. Please do not send any transcripts to the School of Education.
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • For students whose native language is not English, an officially reported TOEFL test score of at least 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (Internet-based). IELTS scores are also accepted. The minimum score is 7.0.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors.
  • A resume detailing your academic, professional, and/or volunteer experience.
  • Responses to the following two graduate application essays.

Essay 1

Outline your educational plans and career goals and discuss how your proposed plan of graduate study relates to them. Some areas of discussion might include: Which specific attributes of the program at UD led you to believe that this degree is appropriate to help you achieve your professional objectives? Within the area of study you have selected, are there areas of special interest to you?

Essay 2

In this writing sample, the applicant should address one of the following questions in a brief essay of 500 words or less:

  • Select an important problem facing individuals with disabilities or the schools, teachers, or other people who work with them, and propose a solution to this problem; OR
  • Describe an experience in your own life that influenced your decision to work with individuals with disabilities.

Application deadlines

Applications for Fall are due July 1. Applications for Spring are due November 1.

If students are interested in taking a course but not applying for the degree program, they may register for courses through the Office of Professional and Continuing Studies as a continuing education student. Formal admission to the university is not required.

For more information about this program, contact the Online M.Ed. in Exceptional Children in Youth program coordinator, Dr. Kristen Ritchey.

School of Education  •  113 Willard Hall Education Building  •  Newark, DE 19716
Phone: (302) 831-8695  •  Fax: (302) 831-4110  ©2013